IMYS #23 - After the Before Times

The Long Pause

It’s been nearly a year to the day since I last sent a version of this newsletter. To say a lot has happened since last October would be like saying that R.E.M. is my favorite band. Obvious to a fault.

This first issue will skew a bit shorter so we can all get into the groove of things without being confronted by some wall of text.

Over the next few weeks, I’d like to fill y’all in on some of the things that have happened in the intervening months since my last missive. The biggest change has likely been our move to Owensboro, Kentucky. I’m looking out over our little farm here with a baby pig walking under my chair, dogs barking in the yard, and horses nickering out in the pasture. It’s an amazing privilege to have this refuge amidst the chaos.

Avenue Q is better than QAnon

I’ll be honest and let you know that I haven’t paid much attention to this whole QAnon thing. I just assumed it would all pass. How much do we talk about the Tea Party anymore? This seemed to have even less staying power than that spurt of madness. Unfortunately, as this New York article tells us, the followers of QAnon are now running for office and having more success than one might suspect.

Read about QAnon in Washington

Wave on Wave on Wave

It’s probably a bit too early to get into the actual Halloween music. (Halloween seems to have gotten almost as popular as Christmas?) But surely, we can watch some scary movies and listen to some dark and brooding music. I’ve been on a synthwave kick that’s fueled as much by nostalgia as actual musical interest. Once you start down the synthwave path, then you’re into darkwave, horrorwave, retrowave, outrun, vaporwave, and lots of other little subgenres. Do some exploration but the Astral Throb playlists on Youtube are a good start. They’ve just published this great mix to coincide with the spookiest of seasons.

Listen to INVASION

A Complicated Revolution

NMdUnsl, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

My mother and stepfather lived in Chile for several years back in the late 90s. I visited and it was a stunningly beautiful country. The people I met were warm and friendly. In the last few years, there have been rumblings of real issues across the country but specifically in Santiago where the disparity between rich and poor is as drastic as our own San Francisco. This article by Daniel Alarcón gives some insight into the roots of the growing revolution and how the coronavirus has affected the people’s and the government’s response.

Read Chile at the Barricades

I Would Pay It

I’ve loved Shakespeare’s work since I first read it in high school in Mr. Saunder’s class. I can appreciate any adaptation, any reference, any allusion. Nothing is off-limits when it comes to interpreting the stories, styles, and characters. It follows that if I had $10 million to through at some art, I’d be on the list to bid on this First Folio that just sold at auction. It does beg the question if the new owner will actually read it. This particular copy was sold by Mills College which had owned it since 1977. I’d love to know where it had been before that and why the college decided to sell now.

Figure out if it's worth it

Plant a Tree, Save a Species

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I likely have recommended Richard Powers’s book, The Overstory, in this newsletter before. If not, you should definitely read it. It’s fiction but it’s shot through with real science and history about trees. A cornerstone piece of the book is related to the decimation of the American Chestnut tree by blight which began around the turn of the 20th century. The wholesale destruction of the American Chestnut caused entire ecosystems to fall or shift including the extinction of several species which relied solely on the American Chestnut for food or shelter or both. There is a movement to plant more American Chestnuts from the seeds of the few that have survived. You can plant an American Chestnut by buying a seedling from a company in Maine.

Plant an American Chestnut

Have a great weekend.

Your guide,


Stockholm Library

By Alex Ezell